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ng                           THE GAY GENIUS

their promotion. But both Wang Anshih and the Emperor were tired
of Dunquan's turn-coat tactics, and instead of being grateful, had him
dismissed from the court. Dunquan began now to "lose faith in human

It was then that Huiching, while awaiting trial, dealt the final blow
to Wang Anshih. He had kept all these years some private letters oŁ
Wang for blackmail purposes, and now he submitted these to the
Emperor, accusing Wang of plotting behind the Emperor's back, for
several of the letter contained the words: "Do not let His Majesty.know
about this." The Emperor was thoroughly sick of the whole mess, and
now the revelation of these private letters made him really angry with
Wang for the first time. Wang scolded his son severely for recklessly
attacking Huiching without his knowledge. The son evidently did not
know that Huiching had kept these letters and had a secret hold on his
father. Regretting his rash step, and mortified at being scolded by hiis:
father, the son fell ill and soon developed a malignant ulcer on his back.
Wang Anshih had always been a believer in Buddhism. He tried
monks as well as doctors, but was not able to save his son's life. Fang's
death was a deep blow to the old premier. Thoroughly disillusioned
politically and about human life in general, he felt tired and begged to
resign. The Emperor allowed him to retire from his office in October,
1076, but retaining some of his highest ranks. He was by no means in
disgrace. Years later, he was seen in the Nanking countryside, riding
his donkey and mumbling to himself.